Simon Curtis Drops the Beat: From Nick Kid to Indie Music Superstar
After finding fame (and a fan base) with the Nickelodeon TV-musical Spectacular, Simon Curtis did the unthinkable. The young star turned down a major label offer to produce his music independently. Amazingly, it worked. His first self-released album 8Bit Heart was downloaded over 150,000 times in the two weeks following its release -- all without a management team or record label.
A year later, he's hitting it hard with a hot new album, signed with a management team, shooting his first music video - and talking to Celebuzz about what inspired his ridiculously sexy new song, "Flesh."
The album, RA, stands for his "Robot Army." Devout fans began calling themselves "robots" after his 8Bit Heart album was released, and the name stuck. The new album is a tribute to those fans, a look back on the last year of his life, and a highly sexual song he wrote...in a Wal-Mart!
You've done everything so far yourself; now that you are teamed with this management team are you still going to be an independent label? The goal is definitely move toward a major record label. For me, I have had such control over everything that I have done and I have been able to, knock on wood, accomplish so much in doing it. One of the biggest criterion for me in moving to a major label would be making sure it’s the right fit, making sure that it’s the label that is the most excited about me and the music that I do and the artist that I am. I’m not going to sign with a label that wants to completely revamp everything that I have done or that I am doing or push me in a different direction.
You have such a devoted fan base, did you expect to get such a positive reaction from people? By the time [8Bit Heart] was released it was just kind of like an explosion online … I feel like one of the benefits of social media is that I have been able to establish a really close relationship with my supporters from the get-go.
What was your inspiration behind this album - especially the sexy song "Flesh"? RA kind of chronicles my last year. I spent 11 months working on it and its genuinely an autobiographical recount of my year since releasing 8Bit Heart. A lot of the songs are dark and angry and its kind of a militant call to action for me. It chronicles everything from me struggling as an artist and striving to make it, against all of the odds, and dealing with some really deep betrayals and genuine heartbreak over people in my life that I never thought I would lose - who hurt me more than anyone could possibly imagine being hurt.
Now "Flesh," specifically … I was finished with the album, actually, and I [wanted] to do one more song … the album has to have a sex song; the fans will be so disappointed if there is no sex song. Later that morning I went to Wal-Mart, I record in West Virginia so we were at Wal-Mart, and I remember walking off down an aisle by myself and just singing, “Push up through my body, sink your teeth into my flesh.” I was like oh my gosh, what, and I snuck off to the cat food aisle and recorded it on my phone. It wound up being probably my favorite song on the album. It’s funny because it just kind of came out of nowhere, from me saying we need a sex song. That’s the origin of that song, less scandalous than people are hoping to hear. It involves more Wal-Mart than it does actual sex, but you can’t help but to be aroused while you're there.
Do you worry that that the attention the “naughty” songs get may eclipse the music, or distract people with questions about your sexual side? Its funny because I do have these two brazen sex songs in my repertoire at this point, but they’re hardly autobiographical. Everything else that I write is really, really strictly autobiographical, so it’s funny that there is this big dichotomy between the naughty songs and the other songs. It’s also probably my favorite song I have ever written, production wise, I am really, really proud of “Flesh” just simply because, in my personal belief, I think it turned out really awesome and it’s a song I would definitely see Britney Spears recording - so that’s always there. I kind of always write with Blackout in mind, I need one of those WWJD bracelets only with WWBD [What Would Blackout Do].
So that’s your favorite Britney album then, Blackout? Oh yeah, of course, its untouchable. It was so innovative and dark and manic and just from a completely different place than anyone had ever heard a record from her. It is just kind of like this evil alien record and I love it, I will always love that record.
What is your favorite Britney song of all time? I don’t know. If I start talking about that I will start naming off a trillion songs. A few of my favorites are from the Oops album like Can’t Make You Love Me, What You See is What You Get, Stronger, I love those songs. They sounded like they were just coming out of the epic sweedish pop machine factory and it was so cool I loved it.
Will you be doing some music videos to support this album? I’m working on two right now ["Superhero" and "Flesh"]. I just got the choreographer on board and we are starting dance rehearsals this week . I'm really excited about that, it’s my first video … I am really, really lucky and really, really excited right now.
When can we look for the videos to come out? We are doing two back to back because I don’t actually know if the "Superhero" video will be coming out first. It is paired with a cause … so it all depends upon schedules. I hope to have "Flesh" available for viewing in probably a month and a half [or so].